Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana has reiterated Sri Lanka’s commitment for a comprehensive regional approach to combating people smuggling and to work in partnership with governments, international organizations and civil society with a view to preventing human smuggling, protecting and supporting victims while bringing perpetrators to justice.

Speaking at the 7th Bali Process Ministerial Conference on People Smuggling, Human trafficking, and other international Crim     es on Tuesday ( 7 August) Minister Marapana expressed Sri Lanka’s readiness to actively pursue policies of engagement and work together with the international community and international organizations to address issues that concern not only Sri Lanka but also the global community as a whole.

Following deliberations at Ministerial and Senior Officials level, the Conference adopted a Ministerial Declaration and Chairman’s Statement of the senior officials meeting.

During his remarks at the Conference and during the bilateral interaction with Indonesia’s Foreign Minister (Mdm) Retno Marsudi, Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana conveyed Sri Lanka’s sincere condolences to the families of the victims who lost their lives on Sunday’s earth quake off the island of Lombok.

While recognizing the importance of the UN system, and other multilateral organizations as vehicles for international discourse and norm setting, the Minister expressed support to the Bali Process and to implement Sri Lanka’s legal obligations in criminalizing migrant smuggling, trafficking in persons and transnational crimes.

Outlining Sri Lanka’s initiatives at the Conference in Bali, Indonesia, he pointed to Sri Lanka being party to all core international human rights treaties which provide for the prevention and suppression for human trafficking, noting in particular the ratification of UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its 2015 Protocol and The Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption. Furthermore, he referred to the monitoring mechanisms under Sri Lanka’s National Anti- Human Trafficking Task force observing that the Five Year strategic plan (2015-2019) based on the 4 pillars of Prevention, Protection, Prosecution and Partnership and approved by the Cabinet of Ministers, seeks to consolidate ongoing efforts  to combat human smuggling as well as establish collaborative efforts to interdict human smuggling.

Deputy Minister of Justice, Prison Reforms, and Buddha Sasana, Mr Sarathi Dushmantha, led Sri Lanka’s interventions at the Ministerial session with Business leaders.


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